The Freeman family has a long tradition of strong athletics. We finally have a swim team, and the boys volleyball squad, two members of the golf team, and numerous cross-country runners went to states this fall alone. But, as the sparsely-visited Rebel Club Hub shows, Freeman also has a wide variety of extracurricular activities that don’t involve sports. Clubs range from Science Club to Scholastic bowl, from Art Club to the Art of Manliness. But does Freeman invest the same amount of energy and support into its extracurricular clubs as it does into its athletic program? Perhaps a more important question is whether or not we should. It’s time for Real Talk.
Freeman should value sports and clubs equally
It is important that students of various activities in the school feel equally valued by DSF. It is clear through the student body that the way activities are viewed within the school is different, but also unequal. This inequality cannot be blamed solely on student interest; there is more that could be done to encourage interest in DSF clubs. For example, maybe there should be in-school club fairs to truly educate and invoke students on the benefits of clubs offered. Furthermore, some clubs may need funding other than self-raised dues. DSF must understand that while some students look to athletics to provide opportunities for them, there are many students who obtain this same advantage through clubs. The increased funding the athletic program receives compared to clubs seems to assign a higher value to sports than is fair, since clubs are equally important to the students who participate in them. Freeman has to remember to never disregard one group of students in the support of another, and stop setting athletics on a higher pedestal than clubs.
Freeman shouldn’t value them equally
Freeman does not value athletics and clubs equally: never have, never will. DSF has always been somewhat of a traditional school with a strong set of dedicated alumni. These alumni will always want to be involved in Freeman High School and funding clubs is sadly not a way past generations can engage with the community. It is no wonder that Freeman Football tickets sell like crazy. Not only are students at the game, but parents, alumni, teachers, and the general public flock to these athletic events in order to be apart of the social community, even if they do not particularly enjoy watching sports. While clubs are a great way to get community service hours, make friends, or add another bullet to your college application, they are not equal to athletic events because of funding, endorsement, and social norms.
Freeman already values them equally
Although there are clear financial differences between clubs and sports at Freeman, the school still values them equally. Funding is not the only way for the school and students to show support. At other high schools as well a at the college level, clubs receive less funding than sports, but this does not mean that they’re less-valued. Freeman shows support for clubs by providing students with a great variety of clubs for many different levels of interest. Students can even create their own club and manage it, too. This privilege of creating your own club is seen at Freeman and many other schools, and it shows that the school finds it important that students feel represented by the clubs offered. Although club don’t have as many “matches,” “games,” or “events” for students and parents to attend, the school still allows them to do many fun things outside of school. For example, sometimes clubs get to go on fieldtrips. Also, if club members are committed, they may even get to travel for a competition. It is important for us to remember that there are several ways for the Freeman community to show what it values and supports. The value that Freeman places on clubs cannot be solely defined by school funding. We need to also consider the many opportunities and privileges that the school provides for students regarding clubs.